What is Connective Tissue
In a previous post, I talked about fascia and I explained that it was a kind of connective tissue. On this post, I will explain with more details how this tissue is composed and how it works.
The connective tissue is compound of cells of collagen and elastin surrounded by a ground substance which is made basically by water among other cells.
The collagen fibers are parallels and bound together by cross-linking hydrogen bonds which glue the elements together to provide strength and stability. While this bounding cross-bridges provide structure support, an injured, chronic stress, immobility and also any inflammatory process cause excessive bounding leading to the formation of scars and adhesions which limit the movements.
Elastin has a similar arrangement and provides an elastic-like quality which allows the connective tissue to stretch to the limit of the collagen fibers length if this elastic quality is stretched over time, it may lose its ability to recoil.
Surrounding the collagen and elastin fibers there is a gel-like ground substance which lubricates these fibers and allows them to slide over one another. If stress, disease and lack of movement cause gel dehydrate, contract and harden; the application of pressure seems to bring about a rehydration due connective tissue state can be changed from gelatinous-like to a more watery state by a production of energy through muscle activity, passive stretches, joint mobilization, soft tissue manipulation or heat.
With Osteopathic Manipulative Techniques (OMT) we can achieve these changes in the connective tissue and improve any restriction of movement.